WASHINGTON — China has sent a spy ship to international waters off of Hawaii during a giant U.S.-led naval exercise involving 22 countries, even as Beijing participates in the drills for the first time this year, the U.S. Navy said Sunday.
The Navy played down any U.S. intelligence risk associated with the proximity of the Chinese surveillance vessel and noted China also sent a similar ship to monitor the last Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise two years ago.
There was no immediate comment from Beijing.
U.S. officials hope China’s participation in RIMPAC helps avert misunderstandings on the high seas, but analysts long cautioned the maneuvers may ultimately help Beijing strengthen its growing naval capability by observing the forces of the United States and its allies.
Steel plants near deal
LONDON — OAO Severstal, the Russian steelmaker controlled by billionaire Alexey Mordashov, is close to an agreement to sell its U.S. plants to Steel Dynamics Inc. and AK Steel Holding Corp., people familiar with the matter said.
The deal, which could be announced as soon as next week, may value the two plants at just over $2 billion, said the sources.
Steel Dynamics would purchase Severstal’s plant in Columbus, Miss., while AK Steel would get the factory in Dearborn, Mich., one of the sources said.
Severstal’s imminent exit from the U.S. comes amid heightened tensions between America and Russia over Ukraine, where pro-Russian separatists continue to control key cities.
Mr. Mordashov and Severstal haven’t been targeted by U.S. or European Union economic sanctions, although as of April, his companies controlled a stake of about 6 percent in OAO Bank Rossiya, which has been targeted by the U.S.
Dozens dead in Nigeria
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria — Suspected Islamists raided the remote northeast Nigerian town of Damboa over the weekend, shooting dead more than 40 residents and burning down houses in a familiar pattern of killing that has forced tens of thousands to flee their homes this year.
Witnesses and a security source said the gunmen, thought to be members of Boko Haram, struck before dawn Saturday. They added that the near total lack of phone network meant no one could call for help.
Election results disputed
JAKARTA — The Indonesian ex-general widely thought to have narrowly lost this month’s bitterly contested presidential election will not accept the official result until allegations of cheating are investigated, one of his top aides said Sunday.
The rejection is certain to raise concerns of a protracted wrangle that could undermine confidence in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy, or even trigger violence that has so far been almost entirely absent from this election.
By law, the Elections Commission (KPU) must announce the result by Tuesday. Prabowo Subianto’s camp previously insisted it would abide by the KPU’s official result of the July 9 election.
Also in the world ...
Labor unions representing striking South African metalworkers have submitted a lower wage demand to employers, union representatives said on Sunday, to try to end the walkout battering Africa's most developed economy. … South Sudanese rebels and government soldiers clashed in the northern town of Nasir on Sunday, adding to fears that a shaky ceasefire agreement signed in May could totally collapse.
— Compiled from news services